William Michals Replaces Robert Cuccioli As Shakespeare Theatre of NJ's Man of La Mancha
By Kenneth Jones
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has invited Broadway and concert veteran William Michals to tilt at windmills this fall as Cervantes/Don Quixote in the musical Man of La Mancha, Oct. 17-Nov. 18. Michals replaces the previously announced Robert Cuccioli, who opted to join the Broadway company of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Artistic director Bonnie J. Monte will direct at the Shakespeare Theatre's mainstage, the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, in Madison, NJ. Additional casting will be announced for the show that tells the story of the Cervantes novel "Don Quixote."
Michals makes his Shakespeare Theatre of NJ debut as the writer Miguel de Cervantes who invents the iconic impossible-dreamer Don Quixote. The actor appeared as Emile de Becque in the Tony Award-winning South Pacific at Lincoln Center. He made his Broadway debut as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and later returned to the production to play Gaston. He has also played lead roles in productions across the country including Javert in Les Misérables, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Harold Hill in The Music Man, the title role in Phantom and Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani asked Michals to open the Dec. 11, 2001, memorial service at Ground Zero with a solo, a cappella rendition of "Let There Be Peace on Earth," which has been rebroadcast worldwide.
He has worked with orchestras and opera companies, and has sung in cabarets. He recorded a live CD entitled "William Michals Broadway in Concert."
This is the first time since 2004 that Shakespeare Theatre has produced a musical. The Tony Award-winning Man of La Mancha has book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. Musical direction for this revival is by Doug Oberhamer.
For more information, call (973) 408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.
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